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Topical Times – Conifer air layers – a result!

A regular update on the life and times of John Hanby’s Newstead Bonsai Centre……..

Topical Times – Conifer air layers – a result!

A Bonsai Academy class held on the 27th March 2012 involved placing air layers on different species of potential bonsai material.

Sometimes it was to create a better root system on an established tree and sometimes it was to create a completely new tree from existing stock.

Different techniques were used in taking the layers to see if one was more successful than the other with certain species.

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We generally find that conifers are much more difficult to air layer than deciduous varieties.   The three trees featured here had not taken at the end of 2012 so they were left in place over the winter. They have been checked regularly during 2013 and without success ….until last week.

After some 18 months we finally had some root systems and the layers could be removed before the winter. The layers were potted into Japanese training pots in a mixture of akadama and chopped sphagnum moss.

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The Cedar was taken using the ring bark method whilst the Hemlock and Taxus were taken using the tourniquet method. Three potential new small bonsai have been created but more importantly a useful technique has been mastered.

As with all things bonsai it just goes to show that patience is indeed a virtue!!!